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Correa from boyhood leader to firebrand president QUITO: Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa held his first Cabinet meetings more than 35 years before he was elected.   As an 8-year-old boy in the bustling port city of Guayaquil, according to his brother, he would play head of state with his friends who gathered around him to serve as ersatz ministers taking his orders.   The innate charisma that he showed as a schoolboy has helped make Correa one of the Andean nation's most popular presidents, celebrated as a champion of the poor by supporters from windswept highlands to sweltering Amazon jungle.   Yet critics might see in those childhood games the authoritarian traits of a leader they now accuse of hoarding power: he somehow always managed to be the chief.   "I used to say to his friends, 'when you play cops and robbers, sometimes you're the cop and sometimes you're the robber,'" said Correa's brother, Fabricio, once a close ally who is now a fierce ...

Moderate 5.7 quake strikes off Chile: USGS WASHINGTON: A moderate 5.7-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Chile on Sunday, according to the US Geological Survey, but there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage.   The epicenter of the quake was some 24 kilometers (15 miles)northwest of Cartagena and 40 kilometers south of Valparaiso, according to the US-based monitors.   In February 2010, a massive 8.8-strength earthquake hit Chile's central Maule region, generating tsunami waves, killing more than 500 people and causing about 30 ...
Brazil Carnival honors South Korea, Korean immigrants SAO PAULO: With samba music and allegorical pageantry, the Brazilian Carnival pays glowing tribute this year to South Korea's ancient culture and technological prowess, and to 50 years of Korean immigration.   Friday, South Korean popstar Psy was a star guest at Carnival celebrations in the northeastern city of Salvador, wowing the crowd with his "Gangnam Style" hit that made Internet history last December by clocking more than one billion views on YouTube.   Saturday, he was warmly applauded ...
Colombian coal railway to comply with nighttime train ban BOGOTA: Colombia's top coal railway, Fenoco, will comply with a ban on nighttime trains issued by a regional environmental authority to reduce noise, the company said late on Friday.   The announcement adds to problems that have forced top producers at the South American country to shut down shipments from the world's fourth-largest coal exporter, sending global prices rising.   On Dec. 10, the Regional Autonomous Corporation of Cesar, which oversees environmental issues in Colombia's top coal producing region, ...
At least 15 dead in Chile bus accident SANTIAGO: At least 15 people were killed and 19 injured on Saturday when a bus carrying soccer fans plunged into a ravine in central Chile, a local official said.   The accident occurred near the town of Tome, in Biobio province, at about 1:00 am (0400 GMT), said Luciano Parra, a spokesman for the Tome mayor's office.   "The information that we have right now shows that, unfortunately, 15 people did not survive, and 19 others were injured," Parra ...
Hedge funds trade on ahead of Argentine debt showdown LONDON: Hedge funds are actively trading in Argentina's choppy markets ahead of its legal showdown with rebel sovereign bondholders later this month.   Investors and creditors are waiting to see if a US court upholds a ruling on Feb. 27 that prevents Argentina from paying holders of bonds issued in debt swaps in 2005 and 2010 until it pays interest and principal due to so-called "holdout" creditors who had refused to swap.   Argentina has persistently refused to pay ...
Germans seized by Colombian rebels are tourists: Germany BERLIN: Two German men kidnapped by Colombian rebels are tourists, Germany's foreign ministry said on Tuesday, after their captors suggested they were spies.   The National Liberation Army (ELN), Colombia's second-largest guerrilla group, said on Monday it had captured two men believed to be from Germany and considered them to be intelligence agents because the pair could not explain why they were in the area.   "We have to assume that two German citizens are being held against their ...

 



 
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Banking Review 2014


Annual2013/14
Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
MonthlyApril
Trade Balance $-1.795 bln
Exports $1.995 bln
Imports $3.790 bln
WeeklyMay 28, 2015
Reserves $17.494 bln